Transportation Technical Career Fair Draws Students from 20 Schools
More than 350 high school students from about 20 schools in the Bismarck-Mandan learned about careers related to transportation and construction at the region's first Transportation Technical Career Fair.
The event was Wednesday, May 2, at the Bismarck Public Schools Career Academy at Bismarck State College. Students in grades 9-11 visited career booths featuring information and hands-on exhibits. Exhibitors included heavy equipment and tool suppliers, the ND Army National Guard, the ND Department of Transportation, engineering companies, contractors, and area colleges and universities. Students used heavy equipment training simulators and learned how high-tech tools and instruments are used in engineering.
Students also attended breakout sessions on career choices, career search skills, and careers in transportation, construction and transportation planning.
"Maintaining our transportation system requires a talented and trained workforce," notes Denise Brown, with the North Dakota Technical Assistance Program which organized the event. "Our emphasis is to engage these students and let them know the types of careers and opportunities that are available in the transportation and construction fields."
Attracting students to careers in transportation, engineering and related fields is particularly important and challenging in North Dakota, Brown says. "There is high demand for graduates in transportation-related fields and the agencies that hire those graduates, particularly in this region, are facing stiff competition from employers in the energy industry."
The event is sponsored by the ND Local Technical Assistance Program which is part of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University in cooperation with the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education's South West Career Resource Center and Bismarck State College. Additional sponsorship has been provided by the North Dakota Army National Guard and the North Dakota Consulting Engineer Council.
If the event is successful, organizers hope to host the event every other year.